Sing like Adele: Easy on me

Today we are going to have a look at a very small section of Adele’s song Easy on me.

We are just going to do the very beginning of the chorus:  Go easy on me baby.

There are a couple of things to look at in this small section of the song.

It’s a great song, and if you haven’t listened to the whole song you can click on this link to listen to it on you tube.

The song is in F major, and this phrase begins with the tonic note, which is the beginning not of the scale -F and then you sing up a fifth, or leap up, which is the fifth note of the scale which is C.

You will find fifth intervals in lots of songs. Intervals are important to practice so that when we sing them, we land accurately on them.

Practice on the sound ng, which is the sound at the end of the word sing. The sound is closed (the tongue and soft palate are together) but you can open your mouth when you sing. This aims the sound into the front of the face.

You want to glissando (slide) up and down.  As you go up, think more like you are landing on the note rather than revving up a hill.

 

Onsets

When you are attacking a phrase, especially one that begins with a vowel, there are a number of different ways you can sing it.

  1. Clean onset: the vocal chords come together cleanly with the sound to make a smooth, light and clear sound. To do this, connect the two words go-easy, like one word to keep it smooth.
  2. Aspirate/breathy onset. Air is pushed through the vocal chords to make a breathy, airy sound. Adding a h also makes it even more breathy.
  3. Glottal onset. The vocal chords come together quite hard to make a very strong and hard sound.

 

 

A great book for beginning singers

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30DaySinger.com Online Singing Lessons

Vocal Night 20th May 2021

It is with great excitement that I can announce the first Singing Strong Vocal Night for 2021.

It has been a long time since we have been able to hold an in person concert and I am so looking forward to

hearing everyone sing.  I am sure you are too.

The performance will be on Thursday 20th May at 6.30pm at the VRI hall, 18/20 Queens Parade, Traralgon.

This is a casual evening, where students are given the opportunity to perform in front of an audience.

Tea and coffee will be available.

Bookings are essential and tickets are online at TRYBOOKING. Click here to book your tickets.

Singers, family and friends must all book a ticket as there is a limit on the number of people who can attend.

There will be a COVIDsafe plan in place.

The tickets are free, but I would ask if you are able,  please make a small cash donation at the door to assist with covering costs.

I look forward to seeing you soon.

Mary

Singing Strong

The Challenges of Performing

ANZAC DAY 2021

I had the joy and honour of singing at three Anzac Day Services on Sunday. It has been a long time since I have sung in front of an audience and it was wonderful to be able to sing for people again. There were good crowds at all the services and I had a lovely response, with many saying how much they enjoyed my singing.  I believe it is such an honour to be able to sing at an Anzac Day ceremony and to be able to sing at three was very special.

The first ceremony was actually held at the local cemetery.  In my town we have quite a beautiful cemetery, with beautiful gardens, a recently renovated band rotunda and a substantial newly built memorial in memory of returned service men and women who are buried at the cemetery. This year was the first year since 1946 that an ANZAC day ceremony was held at the cemetery. This is because the town cenotaph was built after the second world war and the yearly ceremonies are now held there. 

THE LAST POST

One thing I was able to observe in detail was the bugler at each ceremony. There was a different person at each ceremony and they all had a very different experience performing. One of the buglers was a mature person who had been performing for many years and was very experienced at performing. One was still quite a young person but had played for many Anzac Day ceremonies, even though they were early on in their performing career. The third was a young person, had been playing for a few years, but had not had experience playing to a crowd. It was interesting to note that they had all obviously practiced for the event and they could all play the last post, but they had very different experiences. None of them played it perfectly, but the mature person and the very young person continued on in spite of any little slips they made. 

The person who had never performed for an audience before did get through the performance, however I could see very clearly that they were extremely nervous and tension had built up in their body, and they simply could not get enough air in to support the notes fully.  They are to congratulated on their performance, performing for the first time and in spite of being nervous, they did get through the last post and overall it was played correctly. It was sad to see their response afterwards. I didn't get a chance to speak to them, but if I could have, I would have told them how well they played for a first performance.  

PERFORMANCES ARE OPPORTUNITIES TO LEARN

We can be so harsh on ourselves for performances that don't go as well as we would like. Especially when we are first beginning to perform for an audience. As I said previously, none of the performances were perfect, but the people who had performed previously did not worry too much about perfection, shrugged off a missed note and kept playing.  It is so important that we practice performing, getting used to being in the stressful situation of standing in front of an audience and playing or singing. I have been performing for many years now, and although I can still get nervous, I have performed enough times to understand how my body works and I can prepare and be aware of what I am doing, relaxing and breathing well for good breath support. That does not mean my performances are always perfect.  Usually I go off stage thinking about what I can do better, but generally I am pretty happy with what I have done. The audience wants you to do well, and are for the most part very supportive, so we shouldn't be afraid to perform for others. Perfection is hard to achieve, but we are often hard on ourselves when we don't achieve it.

So get out there and perform.  A LOT!

Break a leg!

A quick message to wish all those who are participating in the Sale Eisteddfod this Saturday.  They have all worked very hard, preparing their repertoire and are sounding fantastic.

The main thing I would remind you all is to BREATHE!

 

Also this weekend is the last performances of The Little Mermaid by the Latrobe Theatre Company.

This is a lovely performance and would highly recommend attending if you are able.

To book tickets click here.

 

The Latrobe Chorale is also performing this weekend:

Saturday 21st May 2pm Presbyterian Church, Morwell.

Sunday 22nd May 2pm, St Michaels Church, Traralgon.

I will be conducting the program:  Rutter’s Gloria and Faure’s Requiem.

Here is a taste:

 

 

Newsletter 1 2016

Welcome back to another year of singing!

It has been wonderful greeting students for the new year, hearing about their holiday adventures and seeing their joy at returning to lessons.

For the adult students there has been less about holidays ( unfortunately) but there has certainly be the same enthusiasm as they arrive for lessons.

For students who have been studying with me for a while, it has been great to hear their voices again and realize the progress they have been making vocally. It has been so exciting to hear the way their voices have matured and developed.  For new students it has been exciting starting with them and helping them uncover the voice they have inside them.

A big welcome to all the new students who have started for 2016.  I look forward to working with you on your musical journey!

News from the Studio:

PRACTICE BLITZ!

Students have new repertoire to start working on for 2016.

To get you into a practice routine I am holding a practice blitz for the next two weeks.

The blitz will run from Monday 22nd February until Sunday 6th March .  All you need to do is practice consistently and record your practice times on the singing strong website.  (remember you have to log into your account to fill in the details. If you need help with this please let me know.) You can log in at the bottom of this post.

There will be prizes and surprises for the person who clocks up the most practice hours!

Take some time now to work out times during the week when you can dedicate 15 -20 minutes to practice.  Record this on your calendar and then stick to it!

Student achievements:

Congratulations to all the students who participated in the Summer Pantomime “Aladdin”.  It was  a fun show and  I thoroughly enjoyed myself when I went to see it.

aladdin

Congratulations to Alicia Hooimeyer who played the title role and to Sophia Patikisa who was a gorgeous Jasmine.

 

 

 

 

aladdin2Hollie Gibson was terrific as the dog and there were other fantastic performances from the following students as well:

Ella Brent

Zahra Hanratty

Ella Hill

Paige Horn

Maddison Logue

Britney Nelthorpe

Sebastian Poole

 

aladdinall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are numerous students involved in the many productions that will be held during 2016. I will keep you informed as they come up.

Cafe Concert

I have tentatively booked our first term Cafe Concert for Wednesday 16th March from 6.30pm.  Please put this date in your diary.  I understand that some of you will have commitments on this evening, but it would be appreciated if you are able to come and sing, even if you are only able to pop in and out.

I will put out some more information about this event during the week.

 

So let’s get singing!  Have a great week.

Dream!

 

 

Can anyone sing?

boy singing with mic cartoonThe answer is yes.  If you are able to talk then it is possible to sing.

Singing is a skill that can be taught just like any other instrument or any skill actually.

I have worked with many students who wanted to sing but didn’t have the skills. Over time with study and practice these students became very good singers.  These students wanted to be good singers and they put in the time and effort required to get good at it.

I am an ok dancer. I can move in time to the beat and when I take time to go over a dance routine I can learn it reasonably well.  But I will never be a great dancer.  That is because I like dancing, but not enough to want to do it all the time and take the classes to become really good at it.  My daughter loves dancing, goes to classes, practices a lot at home and is becoming really good.

But I love to sing.  I have had lots of lessons and performed quite a lot and I have developed skills I need to be a good singer.

I will never be great at violin because I don’t have an interest in playing it. I would like to learn cello though.

I love to teach but I would be pretty useless as a nurse as it is something I don’t want to do.

They say it takes around 10,000 hours to become an expert at something.  I think that this is pretty close.  If you were to ask anyone who is an expert at something, they would probably tell you these sorts of hours.  They would be working on their craft every day over a long period of time.

Learning how to sing well is like any instrument.  You can’t expect to become a concert pianist with a weeks worth of practice.

When you look at the lives of some of the famous singers who are really good at their craft –  you would discover that most have been singing since they were young children. They sing all day every day, listening to music and singing along, they probably go to voice lessons and are involved in any performance opportunity they can.

If you would like to be able to sing reasonably well, in tune, yes you can learn.  You probably don’t need to spend 10,000 hours.  Maybe 100 hours would be a great start.

How good you get depends on how much you want it. How much is your desire?  Are you willing to do what it takes to get really good?

 

Here is a video of  Jessie J at 15. You can tell she has been working on her craft for many years already.

Another video of a young Jessie J

A more recent live acoustic performance.

 

Dream!